Current matters in bilateral relations, cooperation between Russia and the European Union, and implementation of the Minsk Agreements on Ukraine were the subjects of discussion.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, we are here to commemorate a sorrowful moment, but it makes me happy that we have this chance to meet on the sidelines of these events and discuss our bilateral relations and the development of Russia’s ties with the European Union in general.
Sadly, our relations are not in the best state. Trade has decreased, including with France, and this can only be to our regret. I believe that we should look for ways to restore our relations and I think that we all have an interest in seeing this happen.
Of course, we will discuss too the implementation of the Minsk Agreements concerning the situation in southeast of Ukraine. I know that you did a lot to help bring about these agreements, and continue to give this matter your close personal attention.
President of France Francois Hollande (retranslated): Mr President, despite the tragic circumstances that have brought us together, I am also very pleased to have this chance to meet with you and discuss our relations.
We will of course discuss relations between Russia and the European Union, which, you are right to say, have worsened of late. This is a result of the Ukraine crisis.
I think that we have shown that we are not willing to resign ourselves to this situation, neither with regards to the Ukraine crisis, nor with regards to Russia’s relations with the European Union and France in particular.
Of course, to find the best way out of this situation, we need to make progress in implementing the Minsk Agreements. We both sought these agreements, worked on them, and are doing all we can to see them implemented in practice. I think we will discuss now this work’s continuation through the working groups.
We have several other issues that we could discuss, given that both Russia and France have an important part to play in a number of complicated international issues such as Syria, Iran, Iraq and Libya. We are all working on these issues and so it is important to have this meeting here in Yerevan.